Djakadam confined to ‘walking for a few days’ after fall

Djakadam will not run again before the Timico Gold Cup after sustaining a cut when falling at Cheltenham on Saturday.
Djakadam confined to ‘walking for a few days’ after fall

Willie Mullins’ charge was sent off the 5-6 favourite for the Grade Two event in what supposed to be his prep run for another tilt at the blue riband in March, where he was second to Coneygree 12 months ago.

He was still travelling well when he crashed out at the 10th fence, with the cut requiring stitches.

Mullins said: “Djakadam had a few stitches put in at the top of his chest and will be just walking for a few days. As long as the stitches hold he will be fine and he did plenty of walking this morning.

“The vet had to give him an injection which rules out running again before Cheltenham.

“I think I’ve enough time (for Cheltenham) providing the cut doesn’t get infected.”

Djakadam’s fall was just one of a number of disappointments for Mullins on the day, with Shaneshill and Up For Review both well beaten at Doncaster.

He said: “I was not happy with all the horses at Doncaster and I’d say they picked up a bit of a chill on the ferry. I thought they ran too bad to be true and it was just not their running.

“Paul (Townend) said he was flat out all the way on Shaneshill (in the Lightning Novices’ Chase) and he will go up in trip next time.

“Morning Run is probably not back to herself yet this season, while Up For Review was beaten too far out. I would not be writing off Cheltenham with him yet.”

Limini meanwhile enhanced her Cheltenham Festival prospects with a convincing victory in the Three Coolmore NH Sires Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

The five-year-old, who is ante-post favourite for the new mares’ hurdle at the big meeting, had not been seen making a winning debut for owner Rich Ricci and trainer Willie Mullins at Punchestown in May.

However, the 4-5 shot overcame that absence with aplomb to dismiss closest pursuer Cashelard Lady by 11 lengths in the hands of the trainer’s nephew, Danny Mullins.

“Danny said she did it very easy, and her jumping was better when they were going a quicker pace,” said the trainer’s son and assistant, Patrick. “She has a big engine, and should come on from it.

“It’s good for Danny who is making the most of his opportunities.”

Jockey Johnny Burke is set for a spell on the sidelines after the neck injury he sustained from a fall at Thurles on Thursday was found to be more serious than originally thought. The Galway Plate-winning rider, who is retained by leading owners Ann and Alan Potts, took a tumble from Sizing Silver at the fourth-last fence in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase.

He was taken for X-rays on a sore neck and had a scan which revealed the extent of the damage.

Burke’s agent Garry Cribbin said: “Johnny was booked for rides this weekend but misses them having had a scan at the Hermitage Medical Clinic on Friday.

“He has a minor compression to his T3 and T4 and is under Dr Paddy Kenny, who said the injury just needs rest.

“He will be reassessed in 10 days’ time and we will be guided from there.”

Powerhouse owner Rich Ricci said it was “great to be associated with something I have a real passion for” after he was unveiled as the new executive chairman of internet bookmakers BetBright.

Ricci’s silks have become synonymous with the National Hunt scene and he numbers countless favourites for the Festival in March with the likes of Douvan, Faugheen and Min. Ricci said: “I had interest from BetBright last summer and come on board as an executive chairman in the fourth quarter of last year.

“The interesting thing is it has been founded by technological guys and I just felt that they’ve built a better mousetrap than others.

“I enjoy mentoring the company and the people involved . It’s something I’m really enjoying. It’s interesting and great to be associated with something I have a real passion for.”

BetBright, who have an existing three-year-deal with Cheltenham, will also sponsor the BetBright Cup (formerly the Prestbury Cup), the competition at the Festival based on the friendly rivals between British and Irish trainers.

Victory will go to whichever country wins the most races over the course of the four days and former leading jockey Robert Thornton and Irish TV personality and racehorse owner Hector O hEochagain will be respective team captains.

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